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News in brief

An arraignment hearing for Harley “Dow” Rippy Jr.’s vehicular homicide case from August was continued for the fourth time Friday morning.The Silt man’s attorney, Daniel Recht, appeared via telephone to ask Judge Denise Lynch for another postponement. Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch agreed it was a joint request.”I think we are jointly going to ask you for one more continuance,” Recht said. “We have not reached a stalemate in this case.”There is an ongoing investigation, Recht added, saying counsel was awaiting a toxicology report.According to police reports, Rippy, 50, drove a Jeep Wrangler off County Road 344 about 14 miles south of Silt on Aug. 20. The Jeep continued down an embankment and rolled onto its side. Timothy W. Curtiss, 41, of New Castle, was partially ejected from the back seat and pinned beneath the Jeep as it rolled. He was pronounced dead at the scene.Law enforcement originally booked Rippy for driving without proof of insurance, driving under the influence of alcohol and vehicular homicide. He posted bond for $11,750. His next hearing is scheduled for March 16. Glenwood Springs Post Independent

A fire that sent two dogs to a veterinarian Thursday caused an estimated $100,000 in damages, according to a press release from the Glenwood Springs Fire Department.While very little damage occurred to the structure, smoke and heat caused moderate damage to the rest of the house. The house remains unoccupied pending an investigation by the insurance company.”It’s up to the insurance company now,” said Glenwood Springs Fire Department Captain Darryl Queen. “It will take a day or two for them to do what they do, then they will get the people back in their home.”The fire started in the kitchen; the cause has not yet been determined. The kitchen was severely damaged as a result of both the fire and extinguishing efforts.The fire was knocked down quickly and crews began searching for victims still inside the house. The two dogs, belonging to residents Bob and Anne Brooks, were rescued. Both dogs reportedly were doing well after being taken to the vet, according to police chief Terry Wilson.The owners were not at home at the time of the fire, but another resident was. She was able to get out unharmed before fire crews showed up. Glenwood Springs Post Independent

No turf for you.The Re-1 Roaring Fork School District Board of Education isn’t keen on constructing artificial turf fields here. RFSD board members said Glenwood Springs High School football coach Rocky Whitworth is interested in raising funds for an artificial turf field. But they were skeptical of the benefits during a discussion at a board meeting.Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Shannon Pelland said a rough estimate of the cost for an artificial turf field at GSHS was around $500,000, but that another source thought it would be closer to $800,000 or $1 million.”The tough part is you have to replace these about every 10 years or so,” she said, adding that an artificial field’s replacement costs around $300,000.Some districts and vendors say the artificial turf fields pay for themselves in the long term; maintenance costs on a grass field could exceed the cost of an artificial field during an artificial field’s life of around 10 years.But the RFSD does not pay enough in maintenance on its fields to make an artificial field worth it, Pelland said.”We aren’t spending $30,000 per year on maintenance,” she said.Other board members agreed an artificial field may not be practical or worth the cost.Aspen High School Principal Charlie Anastas said AHS’s artificial turf field has been an asset to the school, where historically, players have had to practice in a gym because of snow. Glenwood Springs Post Independent


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